GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)-Whether you’ve been together for two months or 20 years, consulting with a variety of professional advisors before you get married is a wise decision. In addition to the romance and joy of a life shared with the one you love, there are practical legal and financial ramifications to marriage.
Here are 20 questions to get the financial conversation started.
1. Are your checking accounts individual or joint? Are you comfortable having a joint checking account with this person? If not, think about the reasons and talk about it together.
2. Do you have a savings account? Are you willing to share that account with your future spouse?
3. Do you have health insurance? If not, can you get it through your spouse’s employer?
4. If you get married, will you combine car or homeowner’s insurance?
5. Do you need life insurance? How much?
6. Do you need disability or long-term care insurance?
7. What is your attitude toward credit card debt?
8. Do either of you own a house? Is there a mortgage?
9. If you plan to buy a house together, who will provide the down payment? How will you decide who pays the mortgage, for example, by equal shares, unequal shares, or percentage of income?
10. Will you have a household (combined) bank account?
11. How will you decide how much income each person contributes to the household, for example, 50/50 split?
12. Who will be responsible for paying the bills? How will you pay for major repairs and improvements if you have a home?
13. Will you keep a separate bank account that is controlled by each person?
14. How do you feel about giving money to family and friends (annual gifting)?
15. Does either of you have a will? Do you have a trust? Do you have any other estate planning documents?
16. Do you expect your spouse to provide for your family after you’re gone?
17. Have you named beneficiaries for your investments, retirement accounts, etc.? Can those be changed? Do you want to change them? Do you want your spouse to know who your beneficiaries are?
18. Do either of you have a lawyer?
19. Are either of you receiving alimony or spousal support? What effect will marriage have on those payments?
20. Do both of you have a financial planner? Why or why not? If you don’t, talk about getting one.
For more financial tips, visit MassMutual MidMichigan
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